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and cut out. >>> the u.s. may decide to withhold millions in military aid to pakistan. this is according to a "new york times" report. the u.s. is said to be unhappy with the efforts that pakistani army has been making against the taliban as well as al qaeda. as well as $800 million in assistance could be suspended. this could cause some major problems. if pakistan takes tougher action, the aid could resume. mean while, defense secretary leon panetta is in afghanistan. panetta is meeting with american military leaders and afghan officials. nbc's atia abawi is in kabul this morning. bring us up to speed on what leon panetta is saying that al qaeda is basically on the run and close to being completely stamped out. >> reporter: good morning, thomas. the new secretary of defense's first trip as the defense secretary here in afghanistan, prior to arriving he talked to reporters on the plane about how he feels alg al qaeda is going right now, the war against terror. he says the strategic defeat of al qaeda is within reach, primarily pointing the the death of bin laden, the information they got
panetta visited in afghanistan. he failed to visit pakistan. what do you think that says about the tension? >> the tension is quite high. frankly unless there is some reversal and lowering of the rhetoric, then i think it's going to spin in a very deep decline. that's not something that's in pakistan's interest on the united states. you need to keep conversations as private as possible sending very strong messages but if we continue to vent our frustrations mutual frustrations ours with the pakistanis and what they have done and fail to do theirs with us in terms of us trying to micro manage what they're doing, then your going to have a break or breach in that relationship. pakistan is a major non-nato ally. allies don't allow things to happen like the hosting of the con sealing of bin laden or the arresting of those who help take bin laden down or allegedly the targeting for assassination of a journalist who's been critical of the regime. these are not the acts of allies. we've got to get back to a level of respect and trust i think that's lacking right now. as a result the relationship i
to then finding out more key leaders in al qaeda. he mentioned about ten to 20 leaders. possibly in pakistan. >> he will be meeting his counterpart who will also be meeting the afghan president, but most importantly, he is going to be meeting the commanders on the ground and the service men and women fighting the fight in afghanistan coming at a very important time in the fight in afghanistan primarily because this is when we expect the transition to begin in certain parts of afghanistan, parts where they're going to be handing over the responsibility to the afghans themselves. also coming at a time when president obama has already announced the draw down efforts hoping for that to end by the year 2014. >> with regard to that, how overall is the fighting going in afghanistan? i mean, are we getting much closer in a palpable way to turning things over to the afghan security forces themselves? >> well, alex, when you talk to officials here on the ground, when you talk to the commanders on the ground, they'll tell you they are closer to that time where they can pass it over to the afghan people
of pakistan that will bring success to local areas. a country from kabul, it will never happen. we are wasting time and money. the fact we are leaving may assist in the development of stability in local areas. they will never be a centrally governed pakistan, i mean afghanistan. afghanistan is not like iraq. give me one more second and i'll tell you what i think is going to happen in iraq. we'll probably go back to having one bloodthirsty tyrant to rule the country. that's the irony of iraq. >> happy days, wes. >> afghanistan is extraordinarily tribal. it's difficult to have a conversation about afghanistan. one story i loved was one of the things we did in afghanistan when i was working with the civil affairs team, giving out flags to children and local leaders. they would look at the flag and say what is this. you would have to explain, it's your country. there's another thing, i think you brought up a good point, joe. afghanistan is not iraq. you are right. there's a crucial player, though that factors in. that's iran. iran is not only very active and involved, but in addition to that, iran
as well. pat. >> dr. brzezinski, let me talk to you about pakistan. powers flu out, richard nixon tilted, doctor brzezinski was over there looking down the pass. they were a great ally in the cold war. now it looks like we have lost pakistan. have we lost pakistan? if so, why and was it inevitable. >> i think we are losing pakistan. i don't know if we have lost it yet. if we disengage intelligently and engage in the umbrella i have been talking about, her happens we will lose it all together. i think the fault is two way. first of all, we have never been really consistently and comprehensively sensitive to the political interests in having a secure backyard in afghanistan. we just haven't. resently, we played with indi s indians. we give a super nuclear deal to the indians. we did not give it to the pakistanis. there's resentment there. pakistan is coming undone on its own. it's not all our undoing. there's a conflict between the army and society at large. divisions between the army and the military and intelligence. ethnic differences. regional differences in pakistan. plus, this overw
$800 million in military aid to pakistan right next door, because there's been some tension, obviously, since the killing of bin laden. but what happened is that panetta said, we've got to show them that this has to be a two-way street in this relationship. and they feel like this could force pakistan to stepping up to the plate and k being more aggressive in trying to take out those safe havens on the border. >> we shall see. jim miklaszewski traveling with the new secretary of defense, leon panetta. stay safe in your travels, my friend. >> reporter: okay, chuck. >>> she may have been first lady for less than three years, but what a legacy. betty ford is one of the nation's most beloved first ladies. she broke preconceived notions of that role, always speaking her mind, and after politics, she left her most well-known and lasting impact of helping get rid of the stigma associated with addiction. so who better to help us remember the former first lady of the united states than dooris kearns goodwin. nice to see you. >> thank you, chuck. >> she may be more familiar with most americans l
.s. troops in afghanistan. this report out of the "new york times" says the aid could resume if pakistan takes tougher action against the taliban as well as al qaeda. meanwhile, defense secretary leon panetta is in afghanistan as i was mentioning. panetta is meeting with american military leaders as well as afghan officials. atia abawi is in kabul, afghanistan. he's making strong remarks when it comes to al qaeda and how he wants to continue stamping them out. >> reporter: good morning, thomas. that's absolutely right. on his flight from d.c. to kabul he did speak to reporter on the plane that he was on about al qaeda and said that the strategic defeat of al qaeda was within reach, pointing to the death of osama bin laden, pointing to the information that we were able to retrieve from his compound, including the names of key leaders that they'd like to go after. and he says that this is the time to go after al qaeda. let's listen to what he had to say. >> now is the moment following what happened with bin laden to put maximum pressure on them. because i do believe that if we continue thi
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